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St. Louis organization finds success in helping Black children beyond the classroom

The Legacy Institute works to provide minority students resources for lifelong success.

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis organization is empowering Black children in the area by teaching them multiple subjects beyond the classroom. 

Just this spring, the Legacy Institute had its first 10-week session with about 67-75 kids in the first round. 

It covers a wide variety of topics including:

  • Chess
  • Credit 101
  • Black History
  • Leadership
  • Coding
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Stock Market Saavy Kids 
  • Debate

There are several goals for this program. 

First, it helps participants build a greater sense of self-worth with an understanding of their history and culture. 

Plus, participants are paired with mentors to gain exposure to
a variety of career opportunities. 

The program shares different pathways to make college accessible.

The Legacy Institute works to provide minority students resources for lifelong success.

Chess instructor Eric Payne said even 5 year olds were learning to play the game. 

"I had one student who didn’t want to be there and then learned how to play chess. That's when he had a smile and the rest is history," Payne shared.

One participant said she learned a lot from this program that she didn't learn in school.

"This is a good way to build confidence," she said.

Chairman Leslie Jones also believes this is a confidence booster.

"You never know until you try, even if you're not interested. The scholars coming in, a little sacrifice reaps so many more benefits long-term. Take the time, a little investment pays huge dividends in the future," Jones said. 

This fall, it plans to have another session and it hopes to take in 100 students.

To get more information, contact the institute at 314-337-1230 or email them at info@legacyinstitutestl.org.

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